2,000kg of banned Pan Parag seized in UAE raid
Sharjah - Raid was part of inspections targeting illegal tobacco users, sellers and manufacturers.
Published: Mon 7 Jan 2019, 4:16 PM
Over two tonnes of chewing tobacco were seized as the Sharjah Municipality raided a labour accommodation recently. The packets of Pan Parag were stored in a room at the accommodation in an industrial area.
Khalifa bu Ghanem Al Suwaidi, director of monitoring and civil inspection department, told Khaleej Times the raid was part of inspections targeting illegal tobacco users, sellers and manufacturers.
The official said the civic body has managed to curb the sale of naswar (a variety of chewing tobacco). "However, unscrupulous traders are now bringing in Pan Parag."
The municipality coordinated with the police and waste management company Bee'ah to raid the labour accommodation. The team seized tools used for processing and packing the tobacco for distribution and sale.
The seized chewing tobacco was confiscated and destroyed immediately. The owner of the accommodation has been referred to the "authorities concerned for legal action".
"The municipality received information about the presence of the banned material at the labour accommodation through our toll-free number 993. We raided the apartment after confirming the information," said Al Suwaidi.
Those found selling banned tobacco items can be fined Dh5,000 and the premises from which they sold the products can be shut down, the official warned.
The official said the municipality has come to know that several people switched to Pan Parag after the authorities managed to combat the sale of naswar. "Municipal inspectors talked to some consumers about the health effects of such banned material. They requested the consumers to cooperate and lead them to the sellers of the banned tobacco," Al Suwaidi said.
Some consumers also told the civic body that traders bring the banned material "disguised as herbal products".